The Reds are not having a good year. At 55-71, they sit at 22.5 games back on the division-leading Cubs, and are actually 2 games back on the Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates. You know, one of the worst franchises of all times? In most cases, the management team behind a mess this big tuck tail & duck into the shadows. But not Bob Castellini and Walt Jocketty, who’ve taken the much less-traveled road of actually offering a written apology to their fans.
While the letter obviously focuses on the “things are looking up” side (the only mention of what went wrong is contained in the single line, “Unfortunately the team has not played up to our expectations and we have sustained injuries to key players within our starting lineup and rotation”), it certainly doesn’t hurt ticket sales to give fans a bit of a State of the Team Address.
From the Reds official MLB.COM page:
While the run production generated by these two veterans will not be quickly replaced (i.e. Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn), we chose to endure the short-term ramifications for the sake of building a strong, competitive team for 2009 and many seasons to come. The vast majority of our 50 draft picks were signed, culminating last week with first-rounder Yonder Alonso and a pair of talented pitchers. Our expanded scouting operations also signed Juan Duran from the Dominican Republic and Yorman Rodriguez from Venezuela, who are arguably the best amateur free agent position players from their respective countries.
As we near September, we will continue to provide valuable playing time to our young players and new acquisitions who we feel can become significant contributors at the Major League level. We ask your continued trust and patience as we build the roster that will get us back on top. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the ballpark.
Of course, if they were really sorry, they’d take a page out of the Marlins playbook, morph it a bit, and offer fans a monetary reward for actually sticking around until the final out.
But still, it would be nice to see more franchises taking this apologetic approach. It’s not like it’s difficult - there are much, much harder apologies to deliver. At the very least, unsuccessful teams should be forced to post the following video on their team’s home page:
We’re looking at you, Padres management.